Tuesday, May 06, 2003

  • MORE 113 MISADVENTURES Today's 1:00pm departure from 69 St Terminal (5320/4506 block) departed for Marcus Hook 25 minutes late. The bus was at it's berth by 1:00pm; the operator, however, was not. Would it really have been too much for a service manager or somebody to explain to us why the operator was a no show? To make matters worse, a call to Customer Dis-Service (MOTTO: We put the DIS in Dis-Service) was fruitless as usual. After I complained about the bus not departing when it was supposed to, the idiot at Customer Dis-Service claimed that the control center had reported no problems with 4506 block. Umm, there is a problem when the bus is idling in the berth 20 minutes after it's supposed to depart. Then, to make matters worse, construction along Main St in Darby Borough is forcing most traffic to detour, but SEPTA buses are being allowed through, thus adding another 5 minutes in delays. How nice of SEPTA to at least post notices about the street construction ... oh, wait, they didn't even bother. I guess that would be asking too much...

  • RAIL SCHEDULE CHANGES DELAYED If you haven't noticed, the new Regional Rail schedules dated May 5 are not going into effect until May 12. That means riders on most lines - particularly the R5 Paoli/Thorndale - will still have their full weekday peak service for another week. The schedules on most lines are being adjusted or reduced due to the ongoing Rail Power Project. The date change was found out the hard way, as a search for new timetables at Suburban Station proved unsuccessful. When I inquired about the new schedules at the Passenger Dis-Services office (see above item for motto), I dealt with yet another example of obnoxious employees who seem to have a problem with the conecpt of manners. After I asked why the new schedules had been delayed, I was basically ignored and told to leave - but not before referring to the Regional Rail system as the "laughing stock of all railroads" (which is very much true, given the way that SEPTA has treated it's railroad customers throughout this entire project).

    And if anyone was surprised by what seemed like a sudden decision to reduce weekday service on some lines ... join the club. DVARP recently reported that SEPTA had planned to take this action from the very start of this project, yet chose not to notify the public of these changes until a week before they took effect. Yeah, that's a great way to keep the public informed, not to mention a wonderful way to retain that ridership once the fare increase takes effect. This, by the way, is another byproduct of the incompetence of SEPTA management since Fearless Leader took over as SEPTA's General Manager. It certainly didn't help that a very arrogant Howard Eskin-wannabe by the name of Patrick Nowakowski is now the AGM for Operations. At least his predecessor, Bernard Cohen, was willing to listen to the public. Nowakowski, on the other hand, seems to think that the opinion of the riding public is irrelevant, since after all, we're just shelling out what seems to be more money for decreased and degraded service.

  • 200-SERIES BUS SCHEDULES ALSO CHANGING In concert with the RRD schedule changes, new timetables are being issued for the 201, 203, 204, 206, 207/WHIRL, and 208 buses. Many of the adjustments are related to the new railroad schedule changes, with a new AM peak trip operating between Lionville and Paoli on the 204. More details will be posted soon (at least I would hope so).

  • R3 DETOURS IN THE WORKS It would appear that the R3 Media/Elwyn line will see some bus bridge operations in the near future. According to the Town Talk News weekly paper, the Middletown Township (DelCo) Council approved a $128,040 contract to remove the Indian Lane Bridge, which is located just east of Elwyn Station. The contractor is planning to remove the bridge at the same time a similar bridge project is taking place near Swarthmore, resulting in at least one weekend of bus bridge operations on the Elwyn line. Township Council President Douglas Roger expressed displeasure about the township having to pay the cost of shuttle bus operations, since a court order following the SEPTA takeover of the Regional Rail system shifted ownership of the bridges to the municipalities. "Middletown did not build the bridge; never owned the bridge. It's unfortunate we have to pay for the removal and for busing," he said. Yup, that's kinda the SEPTA way, now isn't it?

  • PHLASH SAVED ... FOR NOW According to reliable sources within the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, a significant amount of outside funding will keep the Phlash Center City loop in service at least until the end of 2003. As for what happens in 2004, that remains to be seen. Full details were not available, however the Phlash will remain in service as long as funding becomes available.

  • ABINGTON STRIKES BACK A public hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 13 in the Abington Township Municipal Building regarding SEPTA's plans for the R2 Warminster line. The meeting will take place at 7:30pm in the Board Room of the Abington Township building - located at 1176 Old York Rd. I highly doubt that this is a SEPTA hearing, but is most likely a hearing set up by the township's supervisors (or one of their commitees).
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